Reviewed by Meghan Player
2014 is already shaping up to be a massive year, with an epic haul of new albums expected to hit our eardrums consistently throughout the year. Hot off the list of anticipated albums comes California’s rising stars, Of Mice & Men – and their third studio album, Restoring Force.
Of Mice & Men only recently caught my attention when they toured Australia with Bring Me The Horizon towards the end of 2013 – winning me over with their loud and impressive stage presence that has seen them obliterate audiences around the world; and with Restoring Force under their belts, that seems set to continue in 2014.
Opening with ‘Public Service Announcement’, the album blasts into brutal form from the get-go – exploding out of your speakers with machine-gun pace. The raw, guttural breakdowns are astoundingly epic, weaving perfectly into frontman Austin Carlile‘s cathartic screams. ‘You all have something to say about me‘, Carlile roars; drawing on his own experiences and thoughts to make one massive point.
‘Feels Like Forever’ turns the melody of the first track on its head, offering a cleaner, highly unexpected sound that belts out a huge anthematic chorus; while first single, ‘Bones Exposed’ switches gears once again, kicking back to the heavier, grunge-y sound that Of Mice & Men do so well. The frantic guitar riffs are at their all-time best, kickstarting at electric speed to make your heart pound through every single second.
‘Glass Hearts‘ offers a haunting, eerie melody that leaps out from the other tracks on the album; while ‘You Make Me Sick’ demands your attention – complete with an epic 18-second scream from Carlile. That’s right, 18 seconds.
‘You’re Not Alone’ sees the band head towards their poignant moment on the album – a track full of positive messages that are sure to generate a flurry of inspiration and hope for their young and dedicated fan base. ‘Don’t let the world bring you down, there’s always hope for the living‘, the lyrics scream – knowing full-well this will explode into a sing-a-long when played live.
Ultimately, this is a solid album from Of Mice & Men – showcasing a band that has progressed and grown since their last effort, and one that certainly doesn’t shy away from taking a risk. Perhaps, the greatest way to listen to this album is to not compare it to previous offering, The Flood, but see this as a new chapter, a new beginning for a band that is constantly and consistently improving on the foundations that they have. And really, fans couldn’t ask for anything more than that.